I have a dear friend who has entrusted me with the care of his cat for the past several months. I read in one of your articles once that cats should not be vegetarians and need meat in their diet. You said it's dangerous to cats' kidneys to be fed dry food alone. Along with the vegetable dry food the cat has been eating exclusively, I have added Fancy Feast wet food. My friend will be returning soon, and I fear he will throw a fit when I tell him I've added meat/wet food to his cat's diet.Could you repeat the article I'm referring to? Do you have any advice on how I tell my friend what I've done without losing his respect or trust?
P.C., West Palm Beach, FL May 17, 2009
Your friend may be temporarily upset, but with a little understanding, he should thank you. There are both ethical and health reasons for people to become vegetarians, and for those who eat meat and poultry products to select only free-range and organically certified. Vegans do not eat eggs or dairy products, while ethical vegetarians may include eggs and dairy products from free-range, organically fed animals. Neither vegans nor vegetarians eat seafood (except seaweed and sea minerals). Cats need some fish oil, but fish should not be their dietary staple for various health reasons. But all cats should eat animal products (meat and internal organs) on a daily basis -- ideally, raw or lightly cooked and in a balanced-formula diet.Have your friend visit my Web site (www.DrFoxVet.com/info) and learn some facts about cats -- one being that they are "obligate" carnivores.
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